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author shanna bell

Tell us a little about yourself.

Like a lot of authors, I was a reader first (and kind of lived inside my head). I devoured fantasy books, YA, and historical romances (a weird combo, I know). There was never a moment I didn’t have a book to read. I never thought about becoming an author though, and chose for my other passion, studying the law. I became a lawyer, found it too corporate, and decided to become an attorney for a non-profit. Somewhere in the back of my mind there was this writer’s voice though…

What led or inspired you to start writing fiction? And how did you end up choosing your specific genre(s)?

I remember writing a short story as a ten-year-old. I was so proud of it, especially when the teacher gave me a compliment, though he did say he found it a bit of a horror story. Strange enough, I can’t remember what it was about! I always loved reading in a lot of genres and one day I just thought about trying it myself. After trying a fantasy trilogy, which I didn’t finish, and a YA trilogy, which I didn’t finish either, I decided to write stand-alones. I had this story about a dominant man and a sassy, strong woman in my head and just went for it. Readers loved it, I enjoyed writing it, and then I knew romance was my jam.

What’s your most recently published book? What’s it about?

Bratva Queen is my latest book, and it’s part 2 of a duet. It’s an age gap, found family mafia romance with a sassy teenager who was dropped onto a kingpin’s doorstep by her mother.

What has been the most challenging part of being an indie (self-pubbed) author? How have you tackled that challenge?

I knew nothing about selling a book. I hadn’t ever considered that I actually had to do marketing, be on social media, and that my readers would keep asking about the next book, right after I had published the latest one! That’s a privilege btw, which I’m very happy with. I just wish I wrote that fast…

What has been the most delightful or fulfilling part of being an author?

Reader’s reactions, absolutely. That feeling when someone lets me know that I’ve spread some joy into their life because of a story I wrote. PS: I’m also okay with readers getting angry at some characters (I get angry at them too!).

Tell us a bit about your process. Do you write every day? Do you have a specific coffee shop where you write? Etc. (What’s working for you, in other words?)

I don’t write every day, though I keep telling myself that I should. I have weeks that I don’t write at all, but I do work on characters, and the plot. Then, other days, I try to meet a certain word count. I write on my couch at home, somewhere I’m not being disturbed.

What tips do you have for other authors working on their books? Things you’ve learned that you'd like to share with newer authors?

Know your genre! It seems so obvious, but when I first started out I made mistakes about covers and blurbs, because I mixed up genres. Also, write what you are passionate about, and don’t keep switching genres because something is ‘hot’ right now.

What was it like working with Andrea and/or Michele of Two Birds?

I loved working with Andrea, and will absolutely keep working with her. She keeps her deadlines (which sadly hasn’t always been the case with some other editors before her) and she isn’t afraid to point out any mistakes or inconsistencies in my story, which only makes me a better writer.

What is the most helpful tip you can offer to authors who, like you, want to find the right editor for their books?

Find someone who knows your genre, preferably someone who was referred to you, like Andrea was referred to me.

Where can authors and readers connect with you, and find your books?

The best way is through my Facebook page, since my website is still under construction.

Is there anything we haven’t asked but that you’d like to add?

Nope 😊

Have questions about the editing process? We’d love to chat with you and help you figure out your next steps. Contact us to set up a free sample edit.

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